“Return Of The Green Slime”


Aircraft Rescue And Fire Fighting

Truck 760

Tucson International Airport

Tucson, Arizona

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge:

“Light Greens”

Published Tuesday, September 27, 2016


    1. Some people do like this color. And for 20 years all new fire apparatus in the U. S. had to be this color… because it was claimed that it made the equipment easier to see. But then after that experiment proved baseless… it was determined by the powers that be that it didn’t make any difference what color the fire trucks were. Most every department went back to the traditional red… but now it is not unusual to see every color you can imagine… including pink and purple and other strange combinations. Very few municipal departments use the lime green color scheme now… but a lot of airports do. Here in Tucson… the airport fire department has both red and lime green units. To each his own I guess… but to me… fire trucks are red… that’s almost sacred!

      Thanks for commenting…


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      1. Hi G! Who knew!
        And how cool to get the scoop on this because I did wonder why the neon green a few years back-
        I recently grabbed some pics of a fire truck that was parked in front of the store – the chrome was calling me-
        But how interesting that color does not matter these days –

        And agree that red feels sacred – and maybe way early on the red was identifiable with more warning as towns were smaller and people had to 👀 lookout more –


      2. No one is exactly sure where the tradition of red fire apparatus began. I think the most widely accepted reason dates back to the early 1800s when there was a lot of competition between independent fire brigades in a city. Each group wanted their equipment to stand out above the others… so they would outfit their units with loads of shiny brass and other ornaments. Since red paint was very expensive at the time… not very much around was that color. So if the fire brigade could afford it… red was the color of choice. It would definitely stand out.

        Others seem to think the tradition really took hold in the early 1920s when every vehicle on the road was black. How better to stand out above the crowd with bright red paint… polished brass… lights that moved (before flashing lights were available)… and bells that rang out. This was also a time when many fire departments were owned by insurance companies so “getting noticed” was an important advertising issue.

        Today brass has been replaced with chrome… warning lights and sirens have changed completely in past years… and most departments are municipally owned. But there is still a lot of competition between departments as to who has the brightest and shiniest and fanciest equipment. They now compete for prizes at parades and musters and wet-downs (where a number of fire departments get together and celebrate the arrival of a new fire truck).

        It’s a fascinating history.

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      3. It is fascinating and you tell this so smoothly – wow G / what wealth of history here.
        And didn’t realize that insurance companies owned them – things have changed – even tho side note – I am surprised at how much our insurance agent can do these days – they have branched into lending and all this stuff !
        And back to for trucks – I do like it when the local station cleans their truck. Looks enjoyable – 🙂


      4. The history of the fire service… with all its traditions and lore… is certainly a fascinating one. And yes… cleaning and polishing fire trucks is fun… I started doing it when I was about 10 years old. Our fire chief would give me Boy Scout equipment for keeping the truck (we only had one) clean and ready to go. I loved it!


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